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The Co-operative Bank's disgraced former chairman, Paul Flowers, apparently won the job because he beat his rivals' psychometric test scores, MPs on the Treasury Committee have been told.

Investors stash $6 trillion in hedge funds and PE

The value of assets held by hedge funds, private-equity firms and real-estate fund managers reached $6trn (£3.6trn) last year as investors regained their appetite for risk.

Third Point takes significant shareholding in Dow Chemical

Third Point, the hedge fund run by activist investor Daniel Loeb, has taken a significant shareholding in Dow Chemical and is urging the company to explore a spin off of its petrochemical business so it can concentrate on being a specialty chemicals firm.

Alternative assets industry hits £6 trillion mark

The value of assets held by hedge fund, private equity and real estate fund managers reached $6 trillion (£3.6 trillion) last year as investors regained their appetite for risk.

Tom Sandell urges FirstGroup to reassess 'premature' break-up rejection

Billionaire activist investor Tom Sandell has accused the £1.7 billion transport group of a “premature” rejection of its break-up plans for the business.

Richard Desmond

Man Group denies it misled Richard Desmond over 'incomprehensible' deal

Hedge fund giant Man Group has brushed off Richard Desmond's £20 million High Court claim for losses on a financial product, insisting it did not even act as the counter-party in the disputed transaction.

In Brief: Australia extends Serco Christmas Island deal

Australia extends Serco Christmas Island deal

Serco, the outsourcing giant which repaid £68.5m to the UK Ministry of Justice last week, has received a vote of confidence from the Australian government. It has extended Serco’s contract with its border protection department to run 17 detention centres in the country’s mainland and on Christmas Island.

US regulators seek $1.1m from former Goldman trader Fabrice Tourre

America’s Securities and Exchange Commission has taken former Goldman Sachs London banker Fabrice 'Fabulous' Tourre to court demanding $1.1 million (£674,000) in fines and other penalties for his role in a failed mortgage-backed securities deal which cost investors $1 billion.

Rule to curb risky trades by banks in US is finally passed

Nearly four years after President Obama first proposed curbs to rein in the risky bets on Wall Street, US regulators have finally ratified a strict new regime aimed at stopping banks from making speculative trades that could cause another meltdown.

Tom Hodgkinson: Who arrives at the door when the pig has been killed? The Methodist minister

Around 10 years ago, I opened an account with the Co-operative Bank. I was attracted by its policy of not lending money at excessive rates of interest to the very poor and staying out of the way of arms deals and the like. It seemed by far the best of a bad bunch in the sense that it appeared to have morals. At around the same time, in a feeble anti-capitalist campaign, I joined the Phone Co-operative and an energy supplier called Ecotricity, which apparently supplies its power via windmills.

Co-operative Bank loses customers after Paul Flowers scandal

The Co-operative Bank has admitted for the first time it is losing customers after a series of scandals including alleged drug-taking by former chairman Paul Flowers.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Hedge funds, the Tories’ cash cow, eagerly repay favours

A measure in George Osborne’s 2013 Budget which made no headlines outside the financial pages was the abolition of stamp duty reserve tax on UK-domiciled asset management funds. That may not sound like an attention grabber, but it was manna for Britain’s hedge-fund bosses, who by the Government’s estimate saw £145m drop off their companies’ collective annual tax bill.

MPs summon corporate advisers to explain their valuations of Royal Mail

A group of the City’s best-known corporate advisers has been summoned to appear before a committee of MPs to discuss the price at which Royal Mail was floated on the London Stock Exchange last month.

MPs have voiced fresh concern that the Government's controversial privatisation of the Royal Mail

Royal Mail flotation: MPs voice fresh concern over controversial privatisation

An Early Day Motion has been tabled in Parliament calling on the Coalition to review its decision

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
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10 best PS4 games

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Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

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Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent